However, nobody is ensured to receive positive feedback only. That’s why it is extremely important to be prepared and to know how to react when something unpleasant happens and threatens to damage your brand image.
The way a brand handles negative situations reveals its real corporate values. For example, it is prominent to react professionally, to show that you listen to your customers opinion and you care about them. It can be very image-damaging to refuse to take actions corresponding to the negative situation, or not to pay attention at all. Showing responsibility and interest, as well as reacting asap, in my opinion, is the best way a company can demonstrate its professionalism.
Concerning the topic about the negative feedback, I decided to ask Stela Yordanova several questions in connection with brand behavior when facing bad consumers reactions online. Stela works at Review Centre, www.reviewcentre.com – a website for consumers reviews, product rating, and best prices comparison.
And here is our conversation:
Do the brands listen to the feedback they receive from their clients?
Historically we have seen that small companies and businesses care much more about the online feedback and the rating score they receive. Recently however, we’ve witnessed this interest grow in bigger corporations as well. Online consumer reviews and sites that offer platform for such reviews are becoming more and more popular and I guess it is for this reason that companies of all sizes start to listen more to online reviews from their customers.
Do you think people are more prone to write negative reviews than positive?
Looking at the reviews on Review Centre, the scale is almost half and half for positive and negative reviews. From my observations, the general opinion seems to be that consumers are more likely to share their negative experience and warn other consumers about potential problems with certain companies or products. However, from my experience at Review Centre, I know that consumers, who are aware of online consumer review sites, share their experience whether good or bad with the intention to let other consumers know what to expect.
Do brands monitor and pay attention at the sites for consumer reviews?
As previously mentioned, more and more companies start to care about the reviews they receive online and there are many companies who direct their customers to Review Centre, to review their business. We recently introduced an awards badge, which companies can host on their site to show off their rating score on Review Centre and encourage more customers to write reviews. Our badges have gained great popularity among businesses and products listed on Review Centre.
Do brands contact you in order to delete negative comments?
Yes, we receive complaints from companies. They either question the validity of the review or have a different opinion of what has happened. In such cases we operate a strict complaints procedure and provided we have received a valid complaint, we temporarily withdraw the review which is causing concern to further investigate it. If we are satisfied with the investigation the review is returned onto the site. We will not permanently remove a negative review simply because we have been asked to. There has to be a real reason for this.
Recently, I have noticed companies start to realise the benefit of a negative review. Of course, no one wants to be slated online, but problems do happen and not every customer goes away satisfied. Negative reviews show problems and areas for improvement which is really beneficial for companies to move forward.
Regarding your experience, what is the best example of a brand that reacted adequately to a negative review?
There are many companies, being reviewed on our site, who take adequate actions to respond to the feedback they receive. We do offer right to reply in the form of comments, so that companies can comment on a review and put their position on the matter for other consumers to see both sides of the story. Many companies contact us wishing to establish contact with reviewers to try and resolve the issues raised in the review.
Last but not least, I recommend you to read these useful tips on how (not) to deal with negative reviews.
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